I was just getting back from a long day of classes and was about to enjoy a generous lunch when I received a message from my friend, Donny Tsunami.
"Your website's down, man."
I Immediately went to my website, PandaUnite.org, and sure enough, a "DNS Error" showed up.
I had seen something recently on my Facebook Timeline about a message for GoDaddy from Anonymous, so I immediately googled "Anonymous Godaddy hack."
It turns out, Anonymous was quick to accept responsibility for taking down not only GoDaddy but millions of websites hosted on its servers as well.
"I'm taking godaddy down bacause well i'd like to test how the cyber security is safe and for more reasons that i can not talk now " reads a tweet from @AnonymousOwn3r.
An Anonymous source clued me into their intentions.
This was a warning shot.
GoDaddy has been under fire before for supporting the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), a bill that would have extremely limited internet freedom and introduced unprecedented censorship. Even the noted entrepreneur and founder of ICanHazCheezeburger.com took GoDaddy to task for supporting SOPA:
"We will move our 1,000 domains off @GoDaddy unless you drop support of SOPA. We love you guys, but #SOPA-is-cancer to the Free Web."
The internet hosting company has also drawn the ire of civil liberties activists. On February 11th, 2008, visitors to RateMyCop.com received an "Oops!" image urging the owner of the site to contact GoDaddy on why they pulled the plug. When founder Gino Sesto inquired about why his site was down, GoDaddy said it was for "suspicious activity."
GoDaddy was down for almost an entire business day. Twitter was outraged as thousands of users attacked Anonymous for hurting everyone from small business owners to the activists they swore to protect.
However, there may have been a deeper motive. If a disruption of service for less than eight hours will make this big of a splash on the internet, as is the intent of recent cybersecurity legislation, imagine what a complete shutdown of the internet will do.
Interesting Addendum: Anonymous has also distanced itself from this hack via @AnonyOps
"Godaddy technician trips over ethernet cord, pulling it from edge router. Blames Anonymous."
Follow Dan Johnson on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Activisthelp